Monday, January 23, 2006

Cold January can be Hot Market in Chicago

It has been a terrific start to an unusually warm January for our brokerage. Our listings that went overlooked though December have either sold or attracted strong interest since the beginning of the year. It is quite obvious that we have weathered the tumultuous fall and all the negative media coverage to emerge in a normal, if not hot, real estate market. Katrina? Gas prices? Housing bubble? These failed to affect real home owners. A strong economy and the desire for home ownership have equaled great demand.

Since January, I have personally sold listings and negotiated transactions totaling over $1.5 million. My terrific lake front listing at 3600 Lake Shore Drive received almost double digit showings and two second showings before going under contract last week.

Great first time buyer clients of mine now enjoy more home then they imagined in affordable and appreciating North Park/Albany Park. I was able to secure them a sale price under list price and a buy-out credit for their current lease. Top floor, 1300 sq/ft, 2 car parking, great deck, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and storage all in an intimate three unit building.

Another terrific couple decided on a new Rogers Park conversion I brought them to last week. It is a duplex down, has secure gated parking, a balcony off the living room, spacious rooms, and all the modern finishes expected. I was able to secure upgraded cherry cabinets and security system wiring all for the standard package list price. The condo home is located in an area just North of Loyola University and by the Red Line transit. This is a very hot spot with conversions and new construction everywhere. What a great mix of the lake-front, college students, single family homes, condos owners, and neighbors who have been in homes there for years. With consultation, they were confident this was the better location of their short list of properties they considered.

These clients beat the increased competition of home buyers that come out in the spring. And make no mistake; the number of shoppers at my Open Houses has been proof enough that Chicago real estate is in great demand.

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